Montana Public Radio

Barry Usher

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana lawmakers advanced Thursday a strict dress code proposed by Republicans that would apply to House legislators, legislative staff and members of the media working inside the Capitol.

Rep. Barry Usher, R-Billings, speaks on a bill to criminalize bullying in schools at the request of a group of school resource officers. Jan. 21, 2019.
Shaylee Ragar / UM Legislative News Service

A key policy in Gov. Greg Gianforte’s plan for tax cuts in Montana narrowly failed in the House on Thursday.

Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy testifies on House Bill 200, which would ban "sanctuary cities" in Montana, Feb. 02, 2021.
MPAN

Talk about race or racism isn’t allowed as Montana lawmakers debate a bill that would ban so-called "sanctuary cities." That ruling came for a second time in the statehouse Tuesday as the House advanced the policy.

Capitol Talk: Tax Cuts, Pay Raises And A Republican Reversal

Jan 29, 2021

Gov. Gianforte's State of the State address was a mixture of Republican canon and bipartisan proposals. Lawmakers disagree whether an immigration bill has racist intent. A handful of Republicans change their minds about a bill to limit gender-affirming health care for transgender youth. And hefty raises for executive branch department heads raise some eyebrows.

Listen now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Bill To Ban Sanctuary Cities Draws Heated Testimony

Jan 27, 2021

Montana Democrats say a Republican state House committee chair used a double standard during a hearing Tuesday to silence verbal testimony from bill opponents who brought up race when talking about a proposal to ban sanctuary cities in the state.

Montana Democrats say a Republican state House committee chair used a double standard during a hearing Tuesday to silence verbal testimony from bill opponents who brought up race when talking about a proposal to ban sanctuary cities in the state.

Capitol Talk: Abortion, Transgender Rights And Open Meeting Laws

Jan 22, 2021

This week on Capitol Talk, restrictions on abortion and trans rights dominate the House Judiciary Committee while that same committee's Republicans bar reporters from a meeting. All that as old fissures reappear in the Republican caucus.

Listen now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Holly Michels and Rob Saldin.

A Coup Attempt, A Budget Proposal And COVID Confusion

Jan 9, 2021
'Capitol Talk' is MTPR's weekly legislative analysis program.
Montana Public Radio

Montana lawmakers had very different takes on Wednesday's insurrection and the unfounded claims that fueled it. Gov. Gianforte released his budget proposal. And the Legislature started out with confusing and contradictory COVID-19 protocols.

Listen now on Capitol Talk, with MTPR's Sally Mauk, Lee Newspapers State Bureau Chief Holly Michels and UM Political Science Professor Rob Saldin.

At a House Judiciary Committee meeting at the Montana Capitol January 5, 2021 lawmakers wearing masks and those with bare faces sat next to each other. Some committee chairs are requiring participants to adhere to public health guidance, others aren't.
Shaylee Ragar / Montana Public Radio

As the 67th Montana Legislature gets underway, lawmakers are establishing the various ways they’ll conduct business amid the public health threat of the coronavirus. The COVID-19 protocols in each committee room may look different.

A policy to continue Medicaid expansion in Montana has passed its first vote in the state Legislature. The bill includes what some are labeling as work requirements for so-called able-bodied adults enrolled in the program.

The House Human Services committee voted 11-8 Tuesday evening to approve a heavily amended House Bill 658, carried by Republican Rep. Ed Buttrey.

Rep. Barry Usher, R-Billings, speaks on a bill to criminalize bullying in schools at the request of a group of school resource officers. Jan. 21, 2019.
Shaylee Ragar / UM Legislative News Service

HELENA -- Montana lawmakers will hear a bill this week that would criminalize school bullying.

House Bill 199 is sponsored by Rep. Barry Usher, R-Billings. It would make bullying in a school a misdemeanor, with a fine up to $500, county jail time or placement in a youth detention facility. If the bullying results in death or serious bodily harm, the defendant could be charged with a felony.

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